Sunday, November 20, 2005

Footsteps, Part 5 (Fiction)

(Just joining us? Go back to Part 1)

       A spark of Melissa's consciousness reawakened in the deep. The awareness bloomed like a birth, a first glimpse of the world before life unfolds. Then, the spark rose, crossing the depths and seeking air, seeking light. Things swam with her. Slimy. Cold. She hid from their fearful faces.
       Melissa ripped upward. The momentum flung her high. She slowed at the peak of the arc, then plummeted. She slammed the ground, sank, then snapped back into the mist. A mist enveloped by night.
       Her heart pounded, and she listened. The mist was breathing.
       Melissa spun. Someone ran away into the milky dark. The pattering faded as distance swallowed the sound.
       Someone ran again, from her left. The footsteps veered, then circled off in the same direction. She twisted to look, but saw only emptiness.
       In the growing confusion, a third set of footsteps charged directly toward her. Hammering the ground. Melissa gasped. She stumbled backward. Squeezing her eyes closed, she raised up her hands.
       The echo washed over her, through her. Then, their distinctness dwindled.
       Melissa dared to open her eyes. The lights of her IV pump sparkled like rainbow stars. Nighttime blanketed her hospital room.
       Melissa moved to sit up. Dull pain pulsed in her forehead. Nothing in her body responded. Then, like countless other times upon waking, she remembered. Yet again, she relived the moment of horrible realization. The accident. Her condition. The permanence.
       A gentle snore startled her. Melissa looked down. Her mother was draped on the chair at the foot of the bed. Her mouth hung wide.
       Strange. Melissa couldn't recall the day. She certainly couldn't recall why her mother wasn't at home.
       Melissa stopped straining and returned to her usual retreat. The ceiling.
       She screamed.
       The sound gurgled out only for a moment before the respirator plowed it back into her lungs. She turned to run, like in her dreams, but her head was nailed in place. New footsteps were pressed into the spongy tiles. Deep and forceful. The tracks came from the doorway, bore down on her, and ended.
       Something had come. And it had stood directly over her sleeping face.

On to Part 6
Back to Part 4


anne said...

Oh how I like to be scared while I'm having my morning coffee.
Very good, very evocative.

Farzad said...

Oh how I like to be scared while I'm about to go to bed.
Very good, very evocative.

Bernita said...

Dammit, Jason, don't kill her off...
Your imagery is beautifully original.

LiVEwiRe said...

I'm always so glad I read this before I go to work... at the hospital and then have to leave when it's dark out... I expect you to escort me to my car tonight.

Anonymous said...

Anne, at least the coffee will have a calming effect. ;)

Farzad, just don't look at the ceiling!

Bernita, only one more segment left. We shall see! BTW--let me know if my revision to the last segment worked.

Livewire, that noise is just your own footsteps echoing in the halls. No need to turn around. I promise. ;)

Heather Brewer said...

Chilling! I'm loving it--please continue.

Kelly Parra said...

Ooh good, very good, Jason. I love ending on suspense and you're doing that for us. Thank you! I'm anticipating the next segment!

anne frasier said...

very nice, jason!

Anonymous said...

Heather, welcome! I'm hoping to see much more of you here. And thanks for the encouragement!

Kelly, I won't make you wait too long. The next segment will be the final piece.

Anne, thank you. It's fun building a little excitement!

Terri said...

Wow, I just read all 5 segments for the first time and I'm hooked! I can see it so clearly in my mind. Damn, remind me to read this during the day next time ;-)

Anonymous said...

Terri, glad you had the chance to go back and catch up! Thanks for the kind words.

Jeff said...

jason- I'm still with you. :)

Anonymous said...

Jeff, thanks, I appreciate the note.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...


I'm hiding under my virtual sofa.

Anonymous said...

UTMG, great to have you back. Melissa's not in a happy place in her life, I'm afraid.